October 14, 2005

Al-Zawahiri Letter Probably a "Forgery"

Some really serious doubts have been cast by Prof. Juan Cole on the letter allegedly written by Ayman Al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the supposed Al-Queda leader in Iraq.

The doubts are based on very specific linguistic grounds.

1. The opening greeting seems to be wrong, that of a Shiite Muslim, not a Sunni Muslim from Egypt, like Zawahiri.
2. An additional salutation in the greeting is also not Sunnji, but Shiite, and probably would be insulting to a Sunni like Zarqawi.
3. Zawahiri refers to earlier times in completely inappropriate ways, as if Zarqawi and Zawahiri had been buddies, which they never were.

It will be interesting to see how many other Arabic and Muslim scholars confirm what Cole is contending. I hope this gets reviewed by many of them. And then, if confirmed, I hope we can nail whoever was the source for the forging of this document in yet another attempt to hoodwink the American people and the world press.


Hume's Ghost said...

If this turns out to be fake there better be hell to pay.

Another story that piqued my interest but has seen no follow-up was that Dan Rather wants to reopen his investigation into the Bush national guard story because he thinks the forged documents may have been plants but CBS won't let him.

Stephen McArthur said...

I remember, at the time, many people saying that it was too bad Dan Rather screwed up what was really a good story. The story became Dan Rather instead of what Bush actually did.

Do you have the source for the story that Rather wants to reopen it? Is there a link?

Hume's Ghost said...


That's the Rather bit.